My Life In Darkness
9. Astrid’s House
When I awoke the next morning I hoped the previous night had only been a bad dream, but as I opened my eyes and found myself in an unfamiliar room everything that happened the night before came flooding back in one horrifying moment. Even with the sun streaming through the windows the prospect that I was in a house belonging to a vampire, and that vampire happened to be in love with me, seemed as scary as it had in the dark of last night. I slowly rose out of bed. I was still tired, but there seemed to be few aches and pains anywhere. There was a scar on my left forearm from where I had unknowingly bashed it. It was still sore to the touch, but it was healing. On the dresser my clothes were clean and dry and neatly stacked. I looked out the window and deduced we were somewhere in the outskirts of Lawrence. I tried opening the window but it was locked. I got dressed and cautiously opened the door with my heart beating wildly. I could hear movement below and could smell bacon frying. I went down the polished wooden stairs which opened up into a living area.
The chairs and couches were all red leather. There were a few bookcases loaded with books, some were leather bound volumes that looked rather old. Some of the titles were in Latin, others in languages I didn’t recognise. A wooden coffee table sat near the couch. The book Astrid had bought a few days ago was sitting there. There was a stereo across from the chairs. It had a record player and the shelves next to it were crammed full of vinyl records. There were also several artworks depicting landscapes on the walls usually mountains and snow-filled plains. I had no idea who the artists were or where the scenes were from. To the right the room went to what I presumed was the front door. To the left there was another door which opened into a dining room. A large table was in the middle of the room. Six chairs were seated around it. The table looked like it was an antique and was dark stained wood. There was another door in the opposite wall where the sounds were coming from, and the smell of bacon. When I opened it I was in the kitchen. There was Astrid in front of the oven frying up food as if nothing had happened. As soon as I came into the room Astrid turned round and smiled at me.
“Good morning sleepyhead. I thought you might sleep the morning away. You must be hungry yeh?” she asked. I nodded. “I went and got you some food this morning so you would have something to eat. It’s good that I decided to keep the oven. I suppose the smell of the food woke you up?”
“Can I help?” I asked.
“No. Go and sit at the table over there and I’ll be there shortly.” There was a smaller table in the kitchen with a couple chairs facing each other. On side against the wall there was a knife and fork placed. Not long after I sat down Astrid came over with a large plate and set it down in front of me. There were fried eggs, bacon, sausages, hash browns, and toast.
“So are you trying to kill me?” I joked.
“Yes through high cholesterol and heart disease. It should only take a few decades.” She sat down facing me.
“You said you got the food this morning. I thought vampires didn’t like the sunlight.”
“Don’t believe everything you read or watch. I have been a vampire for a long time. The longer we live the stronger we become. At most my strength is reduced in the sunlight, though I would rather not stand in the sun for too long.” She answered.
“What happens if you do?”
“I eventually burn.”
“Well so do I.” I replied.
“Yes.” She replied. “But it would be quicker for me. If I’m careful it is no problem.”
“What else do people get wrong about vampires?” I asked.
“Lots of things, but you should be eating. You must be hungry. Now isn’t the time for questions. We have all day for that.” I followed her advice and began eating. I hadn’t realised how hungry I was until I began demolishing the food on the plate before me. She got up and produced some fruit juice from out of the fridge. She poured it into the glass in front of me.
“I thought I would get you something that was healthy.” She said smiling. She walked back to the fridge and put the juice away. She brought out something else from the fridge. It was a blood bag. She poured some of it into a tall glass and then put it in the microwave.
“Are you going to drink that in front of me?” I asked looking doubtfully at the blood.
“Well I have to feed as well. This is something you’re going to have to get used to my sweet.” When it was presumably the right temperature for her she sat down again facing me, slowly drinking from the glass. I tried to look away as it made me feel nauseous. I noticed as she fed, it brought her fangs out again. Even in the daylight the horror of the situation I had stumbled into was frightening. I tried to not let it show. Was it possible that sometime in the future I would be sitting here eating my meal and Astrid would be there drinking human blood in front of me and I would just think of it as a normal everyday thing? Could I ever do that I wondered? I put down my knife and fork and looked at her.
“What are your plans for me?’ I asked. She shot me a puzzled look.
“What do you mean?” she asked still drinking the blood.
“Are you going to kill me? Are you going to turn me into a vampire? Or do you just see me as a walking blood bag?” I asked. She put down the glass in front of her and looked at me seriously.
“I have no intention to kill you. I only want to love you and for you to love me. I might feed from you occasionally, but I see you as a person, not as food. As to being turned, I don’t know. In the future we may get to that juncture. But if you are turned it will only happen with your consent.” She stated.
After we both finished our meals Astrid told me to wait for her in the living room while she made me coffee. I sat down on the couch and while I waited looked through the photography book. She turned up with a coffee pot and a cup for me. She went to the record player and put on a record of soft jazz for background music.
“You never got into CD’s then?” I asked.
“I have a few, but I prefer the sound of records. I think the CD sound is a bit too clinical and precise.” She answered as she sat down beside me.
“I don’t really notice the difference.”
“Oh one thing.” She said as she handed me my phone. “You had it on you when you fell into the mud. I think it got too wet. I’ve tried to get it working but I think it is far too damaged. I’ll buy you a new one.” I put the phone on the table.
“I hope no one has tried to get in touch with me.” I said. As I went through phones rather regularly it wasn’t much of an issue for me. Not that I told her that. For some reason electronic items tended to have a short life span around me. I no longer bothered having a television after I went through three of them the previous year.
“I think you still need time to recuperate, so I want you to stay here. Today can be for resting and talking. Tomorrow I’ll take you home.” She told me. I suspected if I tried to leave I would be prevented, so I nodded my head in agreement knowing there was nothing I could do. I was effectively her prisoner and could only leave when she let me.
Next episode: Questions
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